Sunday, March 24, 2013

On Surgery, the Chicken Pox, and Birthdays

I think the timing of our anniversary trip was a good thing because we had no idea just what was waiting around the corner - like anybody ever does.  I had my surgery on Friday, Mar. 8.  I really thought it was going to be no big deal - kind of an in-and-out deal.  In fact, I told Paul that perhaps he could plan on going to work that afternoon, after getting me home from the surgery center.  Ha!  We were honestly given very little preparation about what to expect from the surgery.  I suppose I should have asked more, but assumed if there was more to tell, they would.  They did tell us to expect about an hour's recovery time.  I woke up and was in absolute agony.  It took them THREE hours to get my pain to a more manageable level.  Who knew a nose could hurt that bad?!

The weekend passed in a blur.  I was living on pain pills and bleeding so much that we had to keep gauze taped below my nose.  The worst part was the migraine-like sinus headaches.  I'm still having those.  We went to the ER on Sun. afternoon.  They gave me an IV pain drug that definitely helped - temporarily.  They they did some stuff that we found out later that this was stuff we could have done at home, saving us the $200 co-pay they squeezed out of us before we left.  Paul was not happy about that one bit.  In fact, we had been told just the opposite of what the ER docs told us (about keeping the nose dry).

That same Sunday morning we discovered that Ben had the chicken pox.  We have never had the chicken pox in our house and NOW we get them?!  Talk about timing!  The poor kid probably did not have a square inch of skin on him that didn't have a spot.  The first few days he was just miserable.  This picture was taken towards the end of that time (hence, the smile)!  He had to miss an entire week of school, which was the week before Spring Break, so he got two full weeks off!

But as word got out, our friends kicked into action, which was nothing I even expected.  We had meals brought to us, gift cards given, goodies baked - it was amazing.  All of Ben's classmates made him get well cards, which tickled him.  I felt so overwhelmed and so grateful.  I could not have done the things I needed to do that week because I was just plain miserable.  But God knew that and took care of us anyway!

And then, a new week dawned, and it was suddenly my 42nd birthday!  And I was feeling loads better.  I've still got some recovery to go and my nose is sore and gross inside, but it's nothing like what it was. 
My birthday was a nice day.  I got out of the house, ran some errands alone, and spent time perusing the jewelry counter at Younkers, which was a treat (because I can't do that with children) since I'm such a girly-girl and like everything to be "just so" when I dress and accessorize.  We went to Fuddruckers for supper, which was actually a bit of an ordeal with 8 people.  We rarely eat out anymore, so I forget how difficult something that used to be simple can be.  And then we came home and celebrated me.  It was a very, very nice day.  And I'm so pleased to be 42 because I like that number a lot better than "41"!

And, when I least expected it, my Persnickety Punctuation hat popped onto my head.  We were at Fuddruckers, ordering when I looked up at their sign and it said "Fuddrucker's" something or other.  I don't remember what it was, but they were using the apostrophe to denote possession rather than plurality, which was the context of what they were trying to say.  I literally gasped and exclaimed to the gal taking our order, "Your sign is all wrong!"  She sighed and said, "I know - I didn't write it!"  Then she asked, "Are you an English teacher?"  I replied, "No - a homeschool mom."  She nodded and said, "I should have guessed."  Ha, ha!  Meanwhile, Paul was clearing his throat and saying, "Anyway!"  I am going to get myself in real trouble one of these days, going around and correcting others.

Ok, so what else?  Oh, yes - my kitty!  Isn't she beautiful and amazing?  What's amazing is that I have her.  The morning of my birthday Paul and I were talking on the phone and he hesitantly asked me, out of the blue,

"Would you be interested in having a kitten for the house?"  Or something like that.  Actually, the conversation wound around in such a way that he told me he had narrowed down my gift to two things - a gps or a cat.  Which would I prefer?  I have always, always wanted a house cat.  I grew up with one, a big, fat calico persian named Mitze.  We got her when she was 2 and I was in the 4th grade.  She died a few months before I got married.  Paul has never been interested in having an animal in the house.  I remember it was a chore to talk him into Will's pet hamster years ago!  We've had outdoor cats, but I quickly learned to not get too attached to them because they have a tendency to run off or get killed. I've always wanted one in the house that I could curl up with, have purring on my lap - things like that.  But due to his firm no-animals-in-the-house stance, I just assumed I would have to wait until widowhood to have my kitty.  I never bugged Paul about it - I was just biding my time. 

So, this was quite the surprise.  The gps can wait - cat ownership cannot!  This had all come about because some people at church had asked me a few days earlier if I would be interested in taking a 6 month old farm kitten off their hands.  I told them no, but I had later mentioned it to Paul, thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to get an outdoor cat, to help cut down on the mice.  That's what got the wheels in his mind turning.  So, Tuesday night we went and picked up Bella.  I chose that name.  Don't you know I have to re-name everything that comes into my house?  I suppose it's good it was a she.  I was leaning towards "Larry" if it was a boy cat. 

I just love her already!  Every night she jumps into bed with me and it's like having my own personal heater and white noise machine in bed with me.  We're making great progress on her litter box training and she's only scratched the Littles a few times.  I may still get her declawed, though.  She's definitely going to get spayed soon, too.

And you know where "Bella" came from, right?  I haven't clued Paul into that yet.  I may never do that.

All right - what else?  Will had scholarship weekend this past Thurs - Sat. up at Faith.  It sounds like financially this is going to be do-able.  But there's a few other things I have to get in, paperwork, wise.  He had a blast, hanging out on campus.  Paul and I went up on Friday night for a parents dinner.  It was catered by Olive Garden (note to self: never order their lasagna - nasty!).  We were sitting there, eating and Paul commented that we have really come full circle now.  It was 23 years ago, almost to the week, since we met and started dating at Faith.  Of course, that ultimately led to Will's existence, and there we were, preparing to send him off to the very place he "started"!  Afterwards we attended a concert put on by the Faith Chorale.  It's nice to listen to for a few minutes, but I guess my tastes are just a little more low-brow than the average GARB-er.  That probably doesn't say too much about me!

Sam has the chicken pox now.  We discovered those yesterday morning.  He even has them on his lips and inside his ears.  Will and David are very nervous these days. let me tell you!

I found this week that free tickets are available for Lizzie and I to attend a ballet performance of "Snow White" next Sat.  I am so excited by that - it seems like the perfect mother/daughter outing.  And I've been waiting many, many years to get to do things like this!  But now I'm almost afraid to mention it to Lizzie in case she's all spotted by next Sat.  Actually, I really do think if anyone in this house escapes the pox, it will be her, since I'm fairly certain she was vaccinated the most recently against the chicken pox.  Will was too, but I never had him get a booster.  He's threatening to live elsewhere until the plague lifts from our house!  It would be pretty awful if he has them the weekend of Prom Alternative. 

I got new glasses.  I knew I needed a stronger bi-focal prescription.  So, I went to a regular eye dr. and then took the prescription over to America's Best for the glasses, thinking I would save money.  I spent almost $700 for 3 pairs of prescription glasses, so I'm not really seeing a savings!  I guess this is what happens when you get old and your eyes don't work as well as they used to.  It was kind of nice, though, to go pick them up after a rather traumatic visit to the ENT who took out my nose splints a week after surgery.  I haven't had any trouble at all adjusting to this new prescription, either, which has surprised me.

And lastly, I may have a potty training prodigy on my hands.  Maybe.  Not going to get too excited yet.  But Ellie is using the potty chair.  She started getting pretty insistent about it a couple of weeks ago and she has "produced" several times.  She's not even 21 months yet!  We are taking a short family vacation in Aug. and I was planning to wait until we return from that to start working with her.  And she may still be diapers then, too.  I remember, though, that Sam started showing real interest right after his 2nd birthday, but it was a full year and a half later before he was finally trained.  And I was pretty impressed by that after the slow, drawn-out progress of his older brothers when it came to potty training.  I don't know if it's related or not, but Ellie has also figured out how to disrobe.  She's gotten into the very bad habit of stripping naked in her bed and then wetting while she sleeps.  I'm getting very weary of this!

Well, that covers it all, I think.  It's been a long couple of weeks and it it's not over yet.  But there's a light at the end of the tunnel.  That's enough for now.

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